Welcome to my blog about my journey with, and fight against, level four brain cancer (glioblastoma). In this first post I will bring readers up to speed with what happened at the very beginning.
It all began on a Friday night in October when my wife Nikki and I went out with our good mates for Ethiopian at the Queen of Sheeba in Archway (highly recommended). When we were on our way to the restaurant I noticed that my laptop bag was bumping in to my leg. I put it down to tiredness as I'd pushed it a little hard at the gym that morning. At dinner I felt quite off and struggled to keep up with the conversation (some would say that's nothing new). We caught the tube home and when we approached the house Nikki noticed that I was not walking straight. I thought I just needed a good night's sleep. Before going to sleep we Googled my symptoms. I always joke that if you put any symptoms into Google the result is always cancer. Not this time :) It suggested I was iron and B12 deficient, so before going down for the night I took an iron/B12 tablet - take that cancer!
At 2.30am I got up to go to the bathroom and was very unsteady. Nikki asked me to raise both of my arms over my head and I could only do so normally with my right arm. At that point we decided to call a taxi and go to the Accident & Emergency unit of our local hospital. At the check-in desk on arrival I couldn't give my details to the nurse without getting upset - I now realise this was a result of the swelling in my brain making me very emotional. The doctors thought I might have had a stroke and organised to transfer me to the specialist stroke unit at University College Hospital (UCH). While we were waiting for an ambulance to transport me, the effects of the swelling became more obvious. I joked to Nikki that we should take an Instagram photo and give it the hashtag "#dying" - at which point I started laughing hysterically and couldn't stop for several minutes. The theme continued when I was smiling and laughing while being wheeled in to the ambulance at 7am. The ambos thought I'd lost my mind when I reacted like taking my blood sugar levels was as funny as Tony Abbott saying he is committed to addressing climate change. In the next entry I will continue with what happened on arrival at UCH.